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How to Dye Hair With Henna? The Complete Guide

When you’re looking for a vibrant and fun look, but don’t want to use harsh chemicals, henna hair dye will help. Today, you’re going to learn how to dye hair with henna.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the natural henna hair dying process. How to mix the solution, apply it, and care for it after application. You will also learn what henna is and how it helps your hair become stronger and healthier.


What is Henna Hair Dye?

Henna has been used as a hair dye since ancient Egypt, over 6,000 years ago. It comes from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis trees, also known as henna trees. Grinding the leaves into a fine powder creates the dye you use.

Henna hair dye powder

Henna hair dye powder

Henna can change your hair into many colors depending on where the henna is from and what you add to it. It can also be affected by your hair’s original color and how long you leave the mixture in your hair. You can use henna to achieve auburn, orange, burgundy, chestnut brown, or deep blue-black hair.


Reasons to Use Henna Hair Dye

Henna Hair Dye

Henna hair colors are puplar for a reason. Henna is an all-natural hair dye and it not only color your hair, but also helps condition and strengthen hair with each application.

The dye binds with proteins in the hair, so it is a permanent hair dye that only has to be reapplied to new growth. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties to help keep your hair and scalp clean. These properties can also help with dandruff and flaking.

Now that you know the benefits, all you have to learn is how to dye hair with henna.


How to Dye Your Hair with Henna

Dyeing hair with henna can take some time. You have to prepare the mixture 12 hours before you start, so remember to plan ahead. You may also want to test your dye to make sure it is safe for you and the right color.

Mixing natural henna dye for hair application

You can perform a spot test by applying a little dye paste to a small skin patch. Then you wait ten minutes and see if there is an adverse reaction. You can test the color of the dye on some hair from your brush.

Though you can dye your hair yourself, it often helps to have someone else there to help. Historically henna dyeing was considered a reason for a party. You may not need to go that far, but an extra pair of hands could make the process easier.

Before You Dye

Ways to Dye Hair with Henna

Before getting started, remember that henna will dye most things it touches. You will want to take precautions, so you don’t stain the surfaces you are using or other items in the area. It would help if you used gloves, or your hands will be dyed during this process.

Also, remember to research the henna that you are using. Some hennas add aromatics to help change the smell of the dye. There can be many additives involved in henna dyes that can change their color results.

You can create many different colors with henna, but you want to know what color you will get before applying it. Here are some known additives to henna and what they are likely to change.

Henna Additives

  • Indigo: makes the dye darker, used for blue-black color
  • Acids, like lemon juice and vinegar: makes the dye strawberry blond
  • Brandy: used to give a more intense red color
  • Coffee or tea: used for a darker color


Create the Dye Mixture

Henna Dye Mixture

The amount of henna you need depends on how much hair you have. You will need around 50g for short hair, 100g for medium hair, and 200g for long hair. You don’t have to be too exact, but these rough estimates will help you get started.

Mix in hot tap water slowly. The amount of water can vary because you are looking for consistency. You want to create a liquid that feels like yogurt or cake batter.

Now allow the mixture to sit for about 12 hours with plastic wrap on top. Once the mixture darkens to dark brown, it has been oxidized and is ready to use.


Prepare to Apply the Dye

As you wait for your mixture, you will want to prepare to dye your hair. People debate whether you should wash your hair before you apply the dye. Some say your natural oils help the dye bind properly, but others argue that you want your hair clean so it can absorb the dye fully.

You can decide which feels better for you, but if you wash it, use a light shampoo, and don’t use a conditioner. Conditioners can stop the absorption of the henna.

Apply an oil like petroleum jelly or coconut oil to your hairline to avoid accidental dyeing the area around your hairline, and use a bib to make sure the dye doesn’t stain your clothes and your body. You can use a garbage bag with holes in it, old towels, or old clothes for this.


Apply the Dye

applying henna hair dye

Now you’ll learn how to apply henna on your hair. Remember to wear gloves when using the dye, or you’ll stain your hands. Work your hair thoroughly and evenly with the mixture. Apply as much as you need to. You can’t use too much as long as it is applied evenly.

When you finish applying the dye, pile your hair on top of your head, then wrap it in a towel. You will want to wipe up any stray dye with a hot washcloth.


Let the Dye Set

Now you have to let the dye set. The setting takes at least two hours. The longer you leave the dye on, the deeper the color will be. Some people leave it overnight, but you will have to protect your pillow or use one that you don’t mind dying.


Rinse the Dye Out

Gloves will be handy again, or you will stain your hands. Lean your head over the side of your tub and let your hair hangover it to avoid dyeing your body.

Wash water over your hair until the water runs clear. Then you can shower normally, using shampoo, and applying conditioner.


Let Hair Air Dry

Henna Hair Color

Once you’re done rinsing and washing your hair, let it dry. Don’t get your hair wet again for two days. It may take up to 48 hours before the henna takes on its final color, so expect the color to become more vibrant for the first two days.


Caring for Your Hair After the Dye

Henna is a permanent hair dye. Newly grown hair, however, will not have the henna color. You will have to reapply it to new hair if you want to keep the color consistent.

Your hair can get dried out when using henna, so you will want to make sure you add moisturizing shampoos and extra oils when necessary.

Henna can also affect your hair’s texture, which can affect your natural curls. If you want to keep that curl, you may have to take additional steps for that.

Henna is an excellent all-natural hair dye that offers you many benefits on top of changing the hair’s color. It avoids the harsh chemicals of artificial and chemical dyes while still being very versatile. Now that you know how to dye hair with henna, have fun and enjoy your new color!